It’s CHRISTMAAAAAASSSSS!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

 

 

Hope you’re all having a fantastic day wherever you are, whatever you’re doing and whoever you’re with 🙂

 

Xoxo

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Major stress attack!

Ok, I can finally breathe again now! Our Internet is down at home thanks to a fault with Sky (could be worse I guess, it could be the television). So here I am at my Grandmas using her wifi, multitasking like a trooper; blogging, baking, stressing! The cake doesn’t seem to want to bake very fast and I’m on a tight schedule, trauma. On the plus side, I’ve still managed to take some pics for the blog so I can share the cake and recipe with you all sometime after Christmas and when the net is fixed.

I’ve scheduled a blog for tomorrow, because nobody wants to be blogging Christmas Day, but I felt the need to do a Merry Christmas post…..there goes the element of surprise haha

Best check the cake, ciao for now.

Xoxo

Venice baby!

This time last year I was pondering over weekend breaks for the New Year, this year however I have a holiday in August to save for (mum’s wedding) so I can’t imagine I’ll be going very far before then. In February this year however, we decided to book a trip to Venice for April. The April before, 2010, we had planned to go to Pisa but the ash cloud from Iceland but a stop to that and we didn’t have a holiday at all that year. Not that it mattered hugely because it was a pretty nasty year for me healthwise anyway, I kid you not, from 26 Jan where I ended up in A&E at 4am onwards was a disaster haha. Venice was a remarkable place. I had heard some amazing reviews anyway, especially about how romantic it was, but nothing prepared me for the views I was about to see.

The journey down the Grand Canal

We decided that rather than stay in Venice itself, which by all accounts is hugely expensive when staying in a hotel that is on the front and still in one piece, that we would stay on the island of Lido. The hustle and bustle of Venice can sometimes be too much and to be able to escape back to such a peaceful, picturesque place was heavenly!

Lido

Lido's beach

The beach was closed at the time but I managed to sneak this pic, maybe because it was April they figured that it was too cold to open it up but the weather was a scorcher, I managed to get burnt!   And the food, oh my the food. I am yet to try a pizza from Italy that doesn’t make me swoon!

Magherita for lunch on day 1

Just look at the size of this Calzone!!

One night, in my infinite wisdom and with the help of my trusty little guide book, I decided we should take the vaparetto to Murano (I wanted to see where my pretty Pandora charms were made!!) so off we sets at about 7.30pm. By this time it was getting a little bit dark but in a romantic way, a lavender sky with all the lights reflecting on the water. The vaparetto to Murano was no short trip either, the amount of stops it stopped at was ridiculous, so, over an hour later, now in the pitch black we get to Murano. Now I’m telling you, the Venetians do not seem to like their streetlamps. I’ve never encountered somewhere so dark on a night! To top matters off, I’m really scared of the dark when I’m outside somewhere I don’t know. All of the restaurants were closing too, well, I say all of, what I mean is all 2 of them. God only knows where the one in the guidebook was but after we walked along the main front that had one single streetlamp, a stray cat, an old lady with a paper bag and an extremely old man out for a jog panic set in. I’d noticed that the last vaparetto left Murano at 9.20pm, if you missed it you were royally screwed! By this time it was 9.10pm, dark, lonely and my childlike fear set in, I NEEDED to get back to civilisation, NOW!

Now, I’m not proud of this night haha it was all my fault, I’m willing to accept that, but we were both very tired and very cranky at this point…so I sat quietly on the boat ride back to the island we had started at, home sweet home, Lido.

My poor attempt at proof, to show how dark and scary it was. This was Venice itself.

This was dinner after the fateful trip to Murano - oops!

Old faithful

My poor boyfriend suffered that night, not only had I delayed our feeding time, I also made him wait until I had taken a picture of his dinner before he could tuck in. I really do do random things like this frequently.

I have to admit though, the meal here was amazing and I was kind of glad we never ate on Murano, but ssshhhhhh, it’s our secret!

I love looking through old holiday photos, it both cheers me up yet depresses me at the same time, but reliving happy memories is something that you just can’t put a price on.

Our hotel, Hotel Villa Pannonia

The dining room

I can’t recommend Venice enough, though I would never stay on Venice itself, always Lido! I could genuinely write for hours about my time in Venice, but I may bore you all to tears! I will love you and leave you with a few of my fave pics though, for many reasons, most of them bring back funny memories but some are just beautiful and fill my little heart with joy.

Stunning outdoor cafe, the band played whilst you sat. Unfortunately "8 euros for water, a 15 euro service charge for the music and 18 euros for a lager is pushing your luck Nic, NO!" haha

View from St Mark's Campanile, worth the wait

How cool!

It was a cold night so I wrapped up and got mocked as a result. An hour later a storm like you've never seen before hit Venice....I got the last laugh!

Best drink around, an authentic Venetian Spritzer

Proof that I actually had to, and did, use one of the worst public toilets I have ever, EVER experienced in my life. And I PAID for it too.

Yes I took a picture inside the toilets, but seriously, who has a gaping hole leading to the main street in a public toilet?!! Madness.

And I leave you with a truly stunning picture….

Xoxo

Christmas stress!!

I’m officially getting a teeeensy bit tense now for the festive period. In the next 48 hours I need to:

  1. Make Shortbread
  2. Make Double Choc Choc Chip Cookies
  3. Make a birthday cake
  4. Make some jam
  5. Make a batch of bath goodies
  6. Put together my Grandma and Grandads mini goodie basket
  7. Sort out the boyfriends mini hamper
  8. Wrap the last few presents
  9. Go delivering said presents
  10. Make Nigella’s Grasshopper Pie
  11. Find the god damn Creme De Cacao Blanc for the above pie
  12. Tidy my room
  13. Do a pretty large amount of washing, including bedding (or should I buy some new…….)
  14. Take a trip to Halifax to buy a birthday present
  15. Go to M&S to exchange some clothes
  16. Go to the vets to top up on cat food, tablets and for my cat to have his steroid jab
  17. Cry.

The last one may come within the next few minutes. I guess I can at least check one thing off of the ever growing list right?

And does anybody else ever get paranoid that the things you’ve bought just don’t look enough now they’re wrapped? Whatever happened to the good old days where you could buy a lot of LARGE presents that were reasonably cheap yet looked like you’d spent a load? Nowadays everything costs more but is so much smaller (yes APPLE I’m looking at you!!) So you have a few small presents sat under your tree looking a little but sad but in actual fact, these presents cost you well over £150! It’s madness I tell you, madness!

Right, I guess instead of having a merry old rant on here I should maybe make a start on that list (did I mention that my car also needs a new battery so only starts when it feels like it, add to the stress why don’t you!)

Xoxo

Box of chocolates birthday cake

Today was the day I finally decided what cake to make for Christmas eve! It’s mums fiancés birthday (hope I’ve used the correct spelling there haha he’s a man, just so ya know) and I thought it would be nice to do him a cake again, last year I did one which tasted great but….didn’t look the best, it was my first ever attempt at a cake. SO given that he’s an absolute chocolate addict, I thought I’d do a cake like a box of chocs 🙂

20111220-152411.jpg

This is the cake that inspired me. I’m writing this from my iPod so the pic may need spinning around haha but you get the idea! I shall keep y’all posted.

Xoxo

January sales!!

Is it wrong that we haven’t even got Christmas out of the way yet but I’m scoping out the shops for the January sales? Every time I go into Topshop or New Look I keep thinking, ooo I’ll look out for you in a week or so, or, ooo open Boxing Day! I’m even scouring Net-a-Porter too! Not that you can really predict what’s gonna be in the sale online so I don’t know why I’m bothering on that score but, I-just-can’t-help-it!!  I have my Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket but the Yorkshire person in me is saying ‘don’t spend it yet, just wait until everything has come down in price’.

This is what I feel like!!

I don’t want to sound like a stamping Stan but when you come away from what’s supposed to be a productive day shopping with nothing but 3 packs of raisins and a bag of prunes (I also have a Holland and Barrett obsession), there is something wrong my friends.

I will be making my presence felt though as soon as Boxing Day arrives, and I worry that I may look something like this….

The heat is on.....

SCORE!

Don't mess with a woman at a sale....

And then comes the reality that I can't fit anything else into my wardrobe dammit!

….and in that actual order! The Shopaholic film is one of my favourite films of all time, possibley because I can relate to her so well haha.

Xoxo

Online Shopping

I have to say, hand on heart, I do not know what I would have done this year without the internet! It has been my saviour this Christmas, I haven’t had to fight with people in the shops once, because when I’ve gone into towns, it’s been for pleasure and the odd bits! Though, yes, I did have the odd tantrum in Leeds because of Starbucks, they really should train their workers better, just the basics you know, like how to speak English! Always helps when discussing someones intolerances for a drink.

ANYWAY, I digress. Yesterday I helped my Grandma do her very first order online with Ocado and she’s so happy with them! They delivered tonight and everything was packed well for her and the dates were really good on the products. You always wonder don’t you if they’re gonna pull a Tesco on you and give you all the nearest dates so you have to eat 12 yoghurts, 4 loaves of bread, a pack of Flora, a bag of apples, bananas and oranges, drink 2 bottles of milk all within 48 hours! Never good. I have a feeling that now she’s taken the plunge once though, she’ll be a regular shopper with them now. Her back isn’t great these days and carrying carrier bags full of detergents does worry me. Not that you can really tell, I mean she decided to pull out the furniture the other day to do some cleaning, all by herself, she’s a one!!

Ah Christmas how I love thee!

I am well and truly in the Christmas spirit now too, Christmas films a plenty, Christmas songs and lots of food! I only wish Krispy Kreme did home delivery, that would be the ultimate…..although maybe not for my waistline! (Note to self: New Years Resolution must be to go walking for exercise!!)

 

Is it a bird, is it a plane, NO IT'S SUPER NIC!

 

I also got a lot of inspiration for my Christmas presents from Pinterest. Now I know I have linked to this site before but I LOVE IT! It’s a serious obsession and has been for a while now, I’ve made a couple of gifts for friends from it, hope they like them!

I’m off to get my Buble on now, you know it’s Christmas when Michael Buble’s on the tele. LOVE. So I will leave you with links to some of my favourite websites:

Getting Personal

Pinterest – of course!

Victoria’s Secret

Find me a gift

Amazon

Selfridges

ASOS

 

Enjoy my friends, I will be back!!

 

Xoxo

 

 

 

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